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Sylvia G. (Nikkel) Menninga

November 11, 1934 ~ February 10, 2023 (age 88)

After years of volunteering on the CROP Hunger Walk, Sylvia then served as co-Chair of the Hunger Walkathon West CROP Walk from 2004 through 2009, along with her husband Gy. In the years as chair, she coordinated the walk and got people involved in helping to run the walk. She increased the number of people and amount of money each successive year. She continued mentoring the next chair and worked on the walk beyond her tenure as Chair.


She had also invited the other Hero of this year’s walk, Douglas J Wyman, to join the walk, which he did in 2004, at her behest.


This is taken from her obituary which speaks to her dedication to others:


(Upon moving to Oak Park) She immediately became a volunteer in her community and a busy member of First United Church of Oak Park.  She was a tutor and librarian (Cluster Tutoring, now Learning Edge), co-coordinated the Crop Hunger Walk for many years, co-founded and co-facilitated the Oak Park chapter of PFLAG, was active at the Oak Park YMCA, played piano for the seniors at Mills Park Tower, and could be seen selling homemade bread at the farmers market to raise money for one of her causes, among many other activities. She was a strong social advocate for progressive causes including prison reform, housing, hunger, racial and gender equity and LGBTQ rights. She and Gy were recognized for their community service with the Ulyssean award from the Senior Citizens’ Center of OPRF, and the Bruce Scott “Courage and Justice” award recognizing LGBTQ activism.


A multi-talented woman with a pleasing smile and pleasant manner was appreciated by all who came in contact with her.


Her impact on the walk will be remembered as we go forward in memory of this champion of the walk.


For the full obituary, please see this link,

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